Why is that Leo so unassuming and
self-abnegating? Isn't Leo a flamboyant sign? He has a Capricorn
Ascendant. That Pisces friend who is always running around,
talking about everything under the Sun, has a Gemini Ascendant.
That man who has been married
quite a few times, who is given to some fairly rude and shocking
"observations" about others. He has a rather critical
Virgo Moon and a say-it-like-it-is Mercury in Aquarius. However,
he always seems to come across as a nice guy. His Libra Ascendant
gives him a smooth, overall charm that keeps people from thinking
him difficult (except perhaps, his ex-wives).
The Ascendant (or rising
sign) is often considered the mask one wears when meeting
others. Perhaps it is most aptly thought of as the automatic
responses to one's environment. The Ascendant shows our natural
defenses and how we cope with day-to-day issues. The energies
of the sign and condition of the Ascendant are most overt and obvious to others.
The Ascendant shows an individual's first, natural reaction
to new people and situations.
What follows are general
interpretations of the sign position of the Ascendant. Remember
that these characteristics are modified by planets conjunct the
Ascendant, planets that aspect the Ascendant, and the position of
the ruling planet of the sign on the Ascendant. For example, a
person with an Aries Ascendant with its ruling planet, Mars, in
Sagittarius will respond to the environment a little differently
than another person, also with an Aries Ascendant, but whose Mars
is in Scorpio. Similarly, a person with a Pisces Ascendant who
also has Saturn conjunct it will "behave" differently
than someone with a Pisces Ascendant who does not have that
Don't know your rising sign?
People with Aries Ascendants are direct and quick. Their first
instinct is to do, rather than think. Planning ahead?
Forget it. Aries rising simply charges forward without much
This position does not make a
person aggressive. Forthright, yes, but aggression is too strong a
word for these natives. They have a youthful, direct manner that
sees what it wants and generally goes for it. At the same time,
there isn't any malice in their intent.
Some Aries rising people are
competitive, but they generally put most of the pressure on
themselves. These people love to come out ahead in all that they
do. They get ready quickly, walk quickly, and have little patience
for dilly-dallying. Their temper is quick, too. It's also quick to
disappear. Rarely do you find Aries rising people holding grudges.
Their mannerisms are rather simple and straightforward.
Aries rising loves action, and is
often trying to stir up some activity. Their strengths lie in
their enterprising ways. Finishing things they start does not
always come as easily, unless the ruler, Mars, is placed in a more
tenacious sign, such as Taurus or Scorpio.
Aries Ascendant often gives a
rather swift walk, with the head leaning forward slightly. This
walk is surprisingly distinctive. Headaches, and sinus and eye problems are
the usual physical complaints of this position. Rashes and
acne on the face and shoulders sometimes occur. Broad shoulders
and slim hips are common. Often, Aries rising people are quick to
smile, and they possess a youthful charm throughout life.
Probably early on in life, Aries
rising people got typecast as the "independent" child.
As adults, people with Aries Ascendants often stick to that role
in life. People don't run to help them out -- they appear quite
fine doing things on their own. These people have learned to be
self-reliant, and this generally stems from their early
Despite a rather brusque and
independent manner, these natives are usually very willing to
compromise in their relationships, and are very attached to the
people they hold dear. More on
Slow, steady, and capable are adjectives that we can safely attach
to individuals born with a Taurus Ascendant. These natives have
tremendous stamina and staying power. They're often quite loyal to
those they care about. Although they generally don't come on
strong, they have personal presence; and they fairly radiate
The sign on the Ascendant
generally reveals how people start anything new. Taurus, by
nature, is resistant to change. It can be difficult to sway Taurus
rising natives--they're often rather stubborn and fixed in their
ways. Their first responses are to feel things out, not in the way
a Pisces might attune to their environment, but in the realm of
the five senses. They have well-developed sense of smell and
touch, and respond to the material world. Theirs is a practical
approach to life. Security is one of their foremost considerations
before undertaking anything new.
Taurus rising natives are often
quite cautious and careful. With a fixed sign on the Ascendant,
they are not known for their flexibility. Rather, they
possess determined single-mindedness.
More than most, Taurus rising
prefers the "good things" in life. Self-indulgence can
be a weakness for many with this Ascendant. Often collectors in
some way, Taurus rising natives place a lot of value on their
Taurus rising individuals prefer
to dress in quality clothes with a comfortable feel to them. They
are rarely ostentatious in their presentation. Many have strong
and sturdy physiques.
Often rather possessive in
partnership, these natives won't easily break up their
relationships. Although they are not particularly jealous, they
view their partners as their personal property. Intensity and
loyalty are especially important to Taurus rising natives. These
are highly sensual people who prefer the comforts that a
one-to-one, stable partnership offers. Although Taurus rising
individuals value harmony and calm, their partnerships may be on
the passionate side.
Taurus rising natives are often
very comforting to be around. They have a stability about them
that is soothing, and an inner harmony that is attractive.
More on Taurus Rising.
Those born with Gemini rising see the world as a place to learn.
They are curious about the people around them. Sounds similar to
Sagittarius rising? Well it is, but there are some important
differences. While Sagittarius seeks to expand their mental and
physical horizons in a broad sense, Gemini is mostly interested in
moving about in their social circles.
These are people who love to ask
questions, to move around freely, and to mingle. Definitely
restless and often quick in physical expression, natives of the
Gemini Ascendant exude an air of impatience even if they don't
mean it. In fact, there is a cleverness to Gemini Ascendants that
can intimidate some, especially sensitive folk. Their facility
with words can be a wonderful asset, although sometimes Gemini
rising individuals identify too much with their mental agility and
forget, in their personal interactions and communications, to
nurture the people around them. A certain lack of warmth in
presentation can be the result, and although this style is
generally a facade, it is not immediately apparent to most. People
with, for example, predominant Water signs may feel a little ill
at ease with Gemini rising people (that is, before they get to
know them more personally), while strong Air types more fully
appreciate the fun and cleverness of these individuals.
I have found two styles of
presentation most common with Gemini rising people. One style is
bubbly, changeable, talkative, and a little quirky. These natives
are interesting and fun. They constantly explain things,
whether it's their own behavior and opinion or those of the world
around them. Another distinct "style" is a
rather cool and intellectual demeanor. These natives are often
quite witty and clever, but they present themselves in a less
cheerful and changeable way than the first group. Their
observations are sharp and the overall manner is a tad brusque. No
matter the style, Gemini rising natives are given to analysis and
making sense of their world. Their powers of observation are
well-developed, they are mentally active (more often than not,
their minds are racing!), and they almost always have something
bright or witty to say. It is easy for individuals with this
position to get sidetracked, as their curiosity is large, their
minds are quick, and their attention spans rather short!
As children, natives born with a
Gemini Ascendant are often labeled as the intellectual,
inquisitive, and perhaps odd child. Many feel their upbringing
lacked some warmth.
In one-to-one relationships,
Gemini rising people often seek a certain amount of personal
freedom and space. They enjoy intellectual debates and exchanging
ideas. Although they often demand a fair amount of freedom, they
are often just as willing to give their partners room to
breathe. More on
Famous people with Gemini Ascendants
include Drew Barrymore, Bruce Springsteen, Steffi Graf, Charlie Sheen,
and Ricky Martin.
come across as gentle creatures. There's something familiar about
them -- they're the guy or gal next door. When they enter a room,
they don't walk in with a splash. Instead, they move to the sides
and weave their way inwards. These people have a familiar feel to them.
Because they are rather sensitive to their environment, they can
get flustered easily, especially in public.
Their first instinct, when
threatened or on unfamiliar ground, is to protect themselves. When
new situations present themselves, they can immediately withdraw
or act shy. Generally, these people come across as caring people.
They seem quite sweet -- even innocent. Usually, these people
appear unassuming enough to be quite approachable. Some Cancer
Ascendants, however, have retreated into themselves so much as to
be quite the opposite.
Since Capricorn is on the
Descendant, Cancer Ascendant people are looking for structure and
security in their partner and their relationship. These people
function best when their partner displays strength, financial and
emotional stability, and know-how. In fact, many Cancer Ascendants
prefer it when their relationship has well-defined rules. Security
is the basic need, and they are generally more than willing to
give up some personal freedom in order to get it. In some cases,
Cancer Ascendant people can surprise their partners. Why? Because
they come across as rather unassuming, family-oriented people.
When it comes to marriage, they have a rather matter-of-fact,
practical approach. More on
Some famous people with Cancer
rising include Steven Spielberg, Stephen King, Julia Roberts, and Ben
Affleck. Angelina Jolie has Cancer rising with Venus tightly
conjunct the Ascendant.
Leo rising people cannot help but be noticed. They radiate a
special energy and magnetism that gets others' attention. Sometimes it's because they
are loud people who pay a lot of attention to their personal
appearance (especially their hair!); other times it's due to a
regal manner that simply demands interest from others.
Leo Ascendant people are very
self-aware and body-conscious. They are acutely aware of others,
and how they come across. In fact, these people are especially
aware of their personal "backdrop"--they consider what
the people they're with, and the environments they are in, do to
their own image. Often, Leo rising natives feel as if they are on
stage, even in the privacy of their own homes!
They are given to rash decisions,
temper tantrums, and excesses. However, they have plenty of
staying power, drive, and their idealism keeps them from getting
into too much trouble. The desire to oversee the goings-on in
their circle can sometimes amount to bossiness. If this desire
doesn't go too far, however, it can just mean a person who wants
to make sure the people they love are all right. Many Leo rising
people are managers, either by profession or character.
The tendency to overestimate
things, and themselves, is generally present. This is due to a
natural enthusiasm and optimism about any new undertaking.
Sometimes, they are walking commercials. In fact, Leo rising
people make excellent promoters.
Leo rising people are generally
demonstrative, and given to grand gestures. Drama comes naturally
to these natives. In fact, some are so caught up in fiction,
they're a little blind to fact. They have an unusual need to be
Leo Ascendants often have a
strong physical constitution. They pay special attention to their
personal appearance and mannerisms. Usually, they choose clothing
and hairstyles that are youthful. Their manner is authoritarian
No matter their age in real-world
terms, Leo rising people are kids at heart. They are fun-loving
and warm; generous and spirited.
Just how magnanimous and outgoing
a Leo rising individual is will be modified by the placement of
the Sun by sign and house. This is because the ruling planet of a
Leo Ascendant is the Sun. For example, a Leo rising person with
Sun in Virgo may not come across as strongly as a Leo rising
person with Sun in Aries. No matter the placement of the Sun,
however, Leo rising natives are quite self-aware and optimistic.
They have a natural flair for presentation, an eye for quality,
and a hard-to-resist warmth of style. They want to make things happen,
and create a stir. More on
Famous people with Leo Ascendants
include George Bush Jr., Robert Downey Jr., Justin Timberlake,
Muhammad Ali, Celine Dion, Donald Trump, Elton John, and Marilyn Monroe.
People with Virgo rising are often a little understated in their
personal mannerisms and appearance, although a lot depends on the
position of Mercury (the ruling planet of Virgo) in the chart.
Generally, there is an intelligent and reserved aura about Virgo
rising individuals that is unmistakable. These are actually
somewhat shy people who need time to analyze things around them
before they warm up to both situations and people. This quality
can be received exactly as that, or it can be received as a rather
stand-offish, cool, and even critical manner (depending on the
One of the biggest personality
traits of this position is body-awareness. People with Virgo
ascendants are sensitive to any discomfort or other signals their
body gives them. Many are especially interested and concerned with
physical health, and some are attracted to mind-body awareness
exercises such as yoga. Virgo rising people are often rather
particular about food. Although some have good appetites, there
can be an unmistakable pickiness about what they put in and on
Virgo ascendant natives have a
tendency to worry a lot, especially when confronted with new
situations. They notice the tiniest details that others overlook.
Many people with this position
have a tendency to attract (or be attracted to) people who need
help. Their relationships may be confusing as a result. Despite
the Virgo rising tendency to appear rather collected and
professional, relationships can sometimes be messy simply because
these natives don't always see their partners and partnerships
There's a quiet charm to many
Virgo rising people. Once they have the chance to warm up to new
people and situations, you'll find they have a lot to offer.
They'll help you out of a jam, go out on a limb for you, and
surprise you with a natural modesty under a somewhat critical and
standoffish manner. More on
Famous people with Virgo
Ascendants include Madonna, Kurt Cobain, Tiger Woods, and Warren
Everybody seems to like Libra
Ascendant natives. They just come across as nice, pleasant,
and fair. Look a little closer at their lives, and these
nice people may have had quite a few problems in their
relationships. Some of them have had a string of
relationships, and it can be hard to imagine why! These
natives attract others to them effortlessly. Besides, they
simply don't know what to do with themselves without a
Libra rising generally
appear to be smoothing everything over. They have charming
smiles, a gentle approach with others, and an easygoing
image. Even if they were not endowed with good looks, they
are attractive. Most pay a lot of attention to their
personal appearance -- the colors they wear, their hair, the
way they walk.
Libra rising people can be enormously persuasive,
although they will almost always use a "soft sell"
approach when they want to win others over, which is all of
the time! A tendency to
pass the buck and keep up that "nice guy/gal"
image are their worst qualities. However, they can make
excellent mediators and will generally be the first to
Libra rising natives are
usually attracted to competent, active partners. Their
relationships are often characterized by bickering or
competitiveness until they learn to drop their sweet image
once in a while and to stop blaming their partners for
everything that goes wrong. More on
Britney Spears and Anne
Heche are celebrity examples of the Ascendant in Libra.
Freddie Prinze Jr.
has a Libra Ascendant with Pluto
Scorpio Ascendant people have
a lot of presence. There is something about them that tells
the world that they are not to be pushed around. Their
manner commands respect, and in some cases, fear. Scorpio rising
people can be quiet or loud, but they always seem powerful
You either love or hate
Scorpio rising people they are rarely people who go
through life unnoticed. In fact, some of them are confused
when faced with the fact that they get such strong reactions from
others. They seem to look right through people, seeing
through superficiality. This can be quite intimidating to
some, and intriguing to others. Scorpio rising people, in
their dealings with others, look for answers by reading
between the lines. Surface details are discarded when they
are getting a feel for people and situations around
Scorpio rising people value
their privacy so much, it can border on paranoia. They have a
strong need to control their environment and are experts at
strategy. Rarely people who will blow their chances with
impatience, they plan out their moves carefully and
deliberately, relying on their awesome ability to feel out
others and situations.
Scorpio rising natives are
drawn to down-to-earth, natural partners. Reliability in their
partner is very important. They generally look for complete
commitment and have little patience with flighty partners.
More on Scorpio
Celebrity examples of
Scorpio Ascendant include Sean Penn, Martha Stewart, Prince, Susan
Dey, Tom Cruise,
Chris Evert, and Penny Marshall.
The world is filled with adventure, new things to experience, and,
most of all, hope, with this Ascendant. There is an unmistakable
faith and enthusiasm with Sagittarius rising people. Grand schemes, big
promises, and a willingness to explore and experiment are themes,
although follow-through is not a strong characteristic of
These individuals are somewhat
restless and often active people. They always seem to be looking
for something that is just out of grasp -- and many do this
their entire lives. They can be quite direct at times, yet they
are likable enough to forgive for their faux-pas. Most have a lot
to say and offer. Their insights and opinions are usually
interesting and exciting, although sometimes lacking in details.
Sagittarius rising people have
opinions about everything, and they just love telling others
exactly what they are. Not all people with this position are
outgoing folk, but they all have a way of moving about that at
least exudes a certain level of confidence. Some might even call
them naive or overly optimistic. Even the quiet ones don't shrink
from life and from experience.
One of the most obvious and
endearing traits of Sagittarius rising is their willingness to
keep up a sense of humor. Even when they're feeling low, they
manage to find humor in life and have fun with whatever they do
have. The placement of Sagittarius' ruling planet, Jupiter, will
give more clues to how they go about expressing themselves.
Jupiter in Capricorn, for example, might give a more sarcastic
approach, but underneath there lies an unmistakable hope and
spirit for living. More on
Famous people with this
position include Catherine Zeta-Jones and Nicolas Cage.
There's a seriousness to Capricorn rising people that is
unmistakable. Even when they're joking around, it's of the deadpan
variety. In fact, plenty of very humorous people have Capricorn
Ascendants. It's all in the timing...and the fact that they don't
giggle before the joke is over.
Capricorn Ascendant people
project competence. They simply ooze it. They're generally
very image-conscious people--the clothes they wear and their
manner are a big deal to them. They want to appear successful, and
they generally succeed!
Often the Ascendant persona is
the one that was forced upon us by family conditioning. For
example, parents may label their Libra Ascendant child the
"nice" one; their Aries Ascendant child the
"independent" one; and their Pisces Ascendant child is
generally the space cadet of the family. We adopt these roles as
familiar ones, and often carry them with us as our defense
mechanisms, in some way or another, for the rest of our lives. In
the case of Capricorn Ascendants, these were the children who were
considered the responsible ones. Sometimes, it was they themselves
who looked around them and felt the need to be the structured,
dependable, and responsible members of the family. So, often,
Capricorn rising people adopted a strong sense of tradition,
family, and responsibility at a very young age.
Capricorn rising people are
generally big on family, and forever worry about security--for
themselves and their dependents. They come across to others as
hard-working, competent, and dependable people. What others may
not see under that cool, even suave, exterior, is an inner
struggle: they often ask themselves, "Am I doing
enough?", "Do I deserve all of this?", "How
can I make things better?" They worry a lot about the future.
If success seemed to have come
easy to these folks, it hasn't. They just made it look that way
with a patient, hard-working, driven personality. Some Capricorn
rising people practice some form of self-denial. They know how to
do away with the frivolous. Still, they'll spend money on the
clothes they really want (the ones with the right labels, that
is), and other status symbols. Although they're rarely showy,
their quiet air of success is often a result of conscious effort.
More often than not, Capricorn
rising individuals are success stories. Their childhoods may have
been difficult, but they slowly but surely turn their lives
around. Saturn rules this Ascendant, and this generally means a
kind of backwards way of living--as children, they are serious and
bear a lot of responsibility; and as they grow up, they age
beautifully, learning how to loosen up. More on
Celebrity examples of Capricorn
Ascendant are George Burns and Alan Alda.
How unique and original Aquarius rising natives come across! These
individuals are just that -- individuals, and they won't let you
forget that fact. Often turned to for advice, these natives
possess intellectual poise and savvy. They often are curious, and
quite learned, in both science and metaphysics--anything that
involves advancement of the human race holds much appeal.
It's hard to shock an Aquarius
rising. They've seen it all, or at least want you to think they
have. In fact, they often enjoy shocking others. Not that they are
flamboyant by nature, but they do like to, albeit quietly, get a
rise out of others. Some natives born with Aquarius on their
Ascendant can be quietly provocative and irreverent.
Most people with this Ascendant
are quite friendly and likable. Their personality quirks generally
go over quite well with others. They generally give others quite a
bit of freedom--accepting, as a rule, people from all walks of
life as equals. And, their somewhat cool and detached curiosity
about all that goes on around them appeals to most.
Curiously, Aquarius rising people
can be a little standoffish while also coming across as
humanitarian and kind.
Often labeled as independent and
original children, Aquarius rising natives often feel a little
"different" or "special" throughout life. They
often feel like they are on the outside looking in, and their
ability to observe and deduce is often uncanny. They're also adept
at getting things to work, even when the parts that make up the
whole seem like a puzzle with unusual pieces--especially when it
comes to groups of people. This sets them apart as managers and
The Ascendant often reveals
physical mannerisms and even choice of dress, as it shows how
people present themselves to the world. With Aquarius here,
natives sometimes have a quirkiness to their manner, and some
dress in a slightly offbeat manner--not enough to make them stand
out like a sore thumb, but just enough to express their original
Because these people seem so open
to new ideas, it may be surprising when you encounter their
decidedly stubborn streak. Aquarius is a fixed sign, after all.
The ascendant sign shows how individuals react to new situations,
and with Aquarius rising, there can be a resistance to change that
seems to belie the native's generally progressive nature. There's
a distinct inflexibility with Aquarian rising people, and,
sometimes, a tendency to want to force their opinions on others.
With their eye to the future of
mankind as a whole, some people born with an Aquarius Ascendant
overlook the more personal needs of the people closest to them.
They are often attracted to partners who possess self-confidence
and ardor. More on
Celebrity examples of Aquarius
rising are Matt Damon and Michael J. Fox.
"Go with the flow" seems to be a Pisces rising motto.
They move about the world in a vaguely directionless, gentle
manner. They come across as artists and lovers of peace; but their
open minds and hearts can give them a chameleon-like persona.
Others are not always sure who they'll meet from one day to the
next with a Pisces rising
person. Although often quiet and shy, another day may find them
talkative and passionate. They are hugely impressionable, have a
dreamy disposition, and project a soft-hearted personality. Pisces
rising sees the world the way they want to see it at any given
time, so objectivity is not necessarily a strong point. Neither is
People with Pisces rising resist
any kind of labeling--their characters are changeable, and they
don't want to be pinned down or pegged in any way. Theirs is a
restless, searching nature that cannot be happy with any one way
of living or being. Pisces rising avoids cold, hard facts and
harsh realities like the plague. They don't have a decisive plan
for tomorrow or even today, preferring to keep things open. Since
they change their minds frequently enough, and like to
"feel" their way through life, too much organization or
structure can be seen as very limiting.
Pisces rising people walk around
with their heads in the clouds, and even when you do have their
attention, their dreaminess is almost always apparent.
These people look for a stable
partnership--one that is reliable. Pisces rising people gravitate
to partners who keep them on their toes, and they often will pass
off the little details and reality checks to their significant
other. They seem to need a practical, realistic partner.
Pisces Ascendants often have a
sensitivity to drugs, and sometimes are prone to allergies that
come and go. Their physical constitutions seem to be less
resistant than most.
Pisces rising people often
possess an irresistible charm that comes on in a quiet way, with a
soft aura about them. Both their appearance and mannerisms are
usually quite intriguing to others. More on
Famous people with this
position include George Clooney, Robert Redford, and Gwyneth Paltrow.
Try this quick calculator to determine your Ascendant. An accurate birth
time is required.